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IT security in focus: measures and funding opportunities

The recently published survey by the digital industry association Bitkom on the subject of cybercrime revealed some worrying figures: Data theft, industrial espionage and sabotage caused German companies a loss of 206 billion euros last year. 8 out of 10 companies were victims of a cyber attack. The size of a company is no longer a decisive criterion for attackers For hackers, it doesn't matter whether it's a medium-sized company or a listed corporation. Regardless of who is affected, the damage caused can have dramatic consequences. Last year, the textile company Erfo and the bicycle manufacturer Prophete had to file for insolvency following serious cyber attacks.
However, companies are not powerless in the face of the increasing threat from the internet. In this article, we show you what you can do to improve IT security in your company.

Fatal misjudgment: It won't affect me, my company is safe!

Just as fatal as the assessment "It won't hit me" is the belief that one's own IT is well-armed against cyber attacks. A Forsa survey conducted on behalf of GDV has shown that this view is widespread among SMEs. Although they are generally aware of the danger of cyber attacks, the risks for their own company are significantly underestimated and the capabilities of their own IT are greatly overestimated. For example, 80% of the companies surveyed were of the opinion that IT security was adequately taken care of. In addition, compared to the previous year, fewer respondents believed that their company was at risk at all.

The figures show just how wrong this assessment is: One in five of the companies surveyed has already been damaged by a cyber attack. This is not surprising, as only a minority of companies even meet the basic protection requirements necessary to be able to take out cyber insurance against hacker attacks. Our advice: Don't be lulled into a false sense of security that nothing can happen to you. Take the risks seriously and have your company's IT security checked by a qualified IT service provider. They can help you and your employees to protect yourselves effectively against threats.

Measures for higher IT security

Analysis of the IT infrastructure

In order to increase the IT security and cyber resilience of your company, it is important to approach the topic of IT from different perspectives. An important building block is an in-depth analysis of the IT infrastructure. This includes an in-depth review of networks, system architectures and databases to uncover potential security gaps and vulnerabilities. In addition, existing security guidelines and their implementation should be reviewed to ensure that they meet current IT security requirements.

IT awareness

To successfully avert threats, it is not only important that the IT infrastructure is protected against attacks, employees must also be made aware of the issue of IT security. People are a key factor in IT security, because even the best protection is of little use if employees are careless with passwords, data, programs and computers. Many are not aware of the dangers and do not know how to behave. Attackers still most frequently gain access to sensitive data through fraudulent e-mails and manipulated websites.

It is therefore extremely important to introduce employees to the topic of IT security in training and awareness programs. The threats to which the company is exposed and the impact they can have should be explained in a clear and practical manner. The aim must be to strengthen employees' security awareness in the long term and reduce their susceptibility to social engineering attacks.

A good IT service provider not only explains the topic of IT security to the company's employees in an understandable way, it also evaluates the access rights and authorizations within the workforce in order to uncover and eliminate potential sources of danger.

Action plan

In order to successfully protect a company from cyber attacks, a planned approach is crucial. An action plan must be developed and implemented on the basis of the security analysis in order to close existing security gaps and vulnerabilities and improve the overall security of the IT infrastructure in the long term. The measures can be manifold: from the acquisition of new security software and the introduction of regular backup cycles to the presentation of disaster scenarios and the development of emergency concepts.

Tip: State subsidies for IT security

Despite the increasing threats, many companies shy away from necessary investments in IT security because they are associated with financial burdens. There is good news in this respect for small and medium-sized companies with up to 250 employees and based in NRW. The state government of NRW is supporting the following with its funding program MID digital security small and medium-sized enterprises to protect themselves against cyber attacks. Funding of up to €15,000 is available for measures aimed at IT security and cyber resilience. In many cases, the funding can be used to cover the majority of the costs incurred, as payment is made up to an amount of 80% of the total project.

Because there is so much interest in the funding program, you should not wait too long to submit your application. It is best to consult a qualified funding advisor who will check your company's eligibility in advance, help you with the application and ensure that you are not slowed down by formal errors. Our partner Andre Gilles from will be happy to help you. Andre Gilles is a digitalization expert and certified funding consultant and has been successfully helping SMEs through the funding jungle for many years.

If you are interested in funding for your IT security, you should do our free funding check now.

Do a free funding check now!

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